Alicia Appleman-Jurman was born to a Jewish family in Rosulna, Poland (now Rosilna, Ukraine). She was raised in Buczacz (now Buchach), part of southeastern Poland annexed by Russia in 1939. In 1942, she was not yet 13 when the Nazis invaded in World War II. Her father was murdered and she was put on a train destined for an extermination camp, but escaped by being thrown out the window. Her mother and four brothers all were killed during the Holocaust. She survived living in the Buczacz ghetto, and hiding in the forests and wheat fields of the countryside. At the end of the war, at age 15, she joined the underground group Brecha, helping to smuggle Jews out of Poland to Austria, then on to the British Mandate of Palestine. In early 1947, she sailed to Palestine aboard the ship Theodor Herzl, which was stopped by the British Royal Navy, and was imprisoned on Cyprus for eight months. In December 1947, she finally reached Palestine. In 1950, she married Gabriel Appleman, an American volunteer who fought in Israel's War of Independence, and went to the USA with him. The couple had three children. They returned to Israel in 1969 and were there during the Yom Kippur War of 1973. She published her autobiography, Alicia: My Story, in 1988.